Family rejects report into death of boy days after he was sent home from A&E

The family of a five-year-old boy who died a week after he was sent home from a hospital emergency department has rejected a report which found that his care was appropriate and “an admission was not clinically required”.

Yusuf Mahmud Nazir died on November 23 2022 – eight days after he was seen at Rotherham Hospital and sent home with antibiotics.

A report into Yusuf’s NHS care was published on Thursday after his family complained that he should have been admitted and given intravenous antibiotics in Rotherham on the night of November 15.

Yusuf died eight days after he was sent home from Rotherham Hospital with antibiotics (Family handout/PA)

He told the PA news agency his family questioned the independence of the report and said it is missing vital details about his nephew’s treatment.

The report published by NHS South Yorkshire concluded: “We consider that on the basis of Yusuf’s observations, presentation and diagnosis there was a reasonable expectation that the antibiotics prescribed were appropriate and an admission was not clinically required.”

It also concluded that “a bed would have been found” if an admission had been deemed necessary.

Yusuf’s uncle Zaheer Ahmed said the report is missing crucial details (Dave Higgens/PA)

The report set out how Yusuf, who had asthma, was taken to the GP with a sore throat on November 15, as he had a sore throat and was feeling unwell, and he was prescribed antibiotics by an advanced nurse practitioner.

Later that evening, his parents took him to Rotherham Hospital Urgent & Emergency Care Centre (UECC) where he was seen in the early hours of the morning after a six-hour wait.

Two days later, Yusuf was given further antibiotics by his GP for a possible chest infection, but his family became so concerned they called an ambulance and insisted the paramedics take him to Sheffield Children’s Hospital rather than Rotherham.

Yusuf was admitted to the intensive care unit on November 21 but developed multi-organ failure and suffered several cardiac arrests which he did not survive.

The report said there was only one doctor in the paediatric UECC on November 15 and that, after midnight, that medic was responsible for covering adults and children.

But it added: “The doctor who eventually saw Yusuf is an experienced UECC doctor who would not have needed to refer to a paediatrician on the basis of Yusuf’s presentation that night and would not have needed to do any further investigations or admit him.

“If he had seen him earlier, he would have been sent home earlier, he would not have requested an admission.”

Mr Ahmed said: “It’s not an accurate report. It’s not what has happened to Yusuf. A lot of information is missing out of the report.”

He said the report he was told was being published was 49 pages long, but the final version is only 36 pages.

“The 13 pages they have taken out are all about Yusuf – about his care and his reaction to his treatment which are very important to the cause of his death.

“Why are they hiding things?”

Mr Ahmed said: “We were begging for IV treatment, we were begging for them to just observe him while he was having these breathing episodes. Nothing was done.

“At the time they said we’ve got no beds available, we’ve got no doctors available, we’ve got children waiting in the waiting area.

“Nobody listened to us then when we were asking for this treatment.”

The report said Yusuf experienced “a highly unusual inflammatory response” which led to respiratory failure, but the exact causation could not be determined as no post-mortem examination was conducted.

But Mr Ahmed rejected this saying he had been told by consultants in Sheffield exactly why his nephew died.

He said: “We want another investigation done. NHS England is such a big organisation why have they just got one independent investigation company. Why don’t they give us a panel to choose from?”

Mr Ahmed said: “The lesson that they’re learning based on this report are incorrect because this report is incorrect.”

He said Yusuf’s cousins still try to contact him by Facetime and leave him his share of sweets.

“Yusuf was a very, very jolly, playful child,” he said. “A very happy child, very independent.

“He was really active and full of happiness and full of energy.”

Dr Jo Beahan, medical director at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “All of us at the Trust were incredibly saddened by Yusuf’s tragic death and our thoughts remain with his family at this difficult time.

“We welcome the independent report that has followed the thorough investigation into the circumstances around Yusuf’s death.

“We note that sadly, despite the efforts of all the teams involved, the report concluded that Yusuf’s death couldn’t be avoided and that his initial medical care in A&E was appropriate for his condition at the time.

“We listened to the family’s concerns raised at the time and made some immediate changes following Yusuf’s death. We accept and are implementing the recommendations made in the report.”

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